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DRAM 116; Week 1-3 Notes

by: Sarah Renfro

DRAM 116; Week 1-3 Notes Dram 116

Sarah Renfro
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About this Document

Notes taken in class for DRAM 116. Supplement with Powerpoints for images.
Intro to Theatre
Katherine Williams
Class Notes




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sarah Renfro on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Dram 116 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Katherine Williams in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 199 views. For similar materials see Intro to Theatre in Theatre at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


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Date Created: 01/24/16
DRAMA 116 Class Notes January 13 th What is Performance? Theoretical and Practical Foundations of Theater  Acting: Believable behavior under the given circumstances  Characteristics of all performances: o Actor: person who does something o Action: a thing done o Audience: witnesses to the thing done o Arena: place where the thing is done o Arrangement: how the thing itself is spatially and temporally arranged  Examples in everyday life:  Sports  Movies and TV  Street fight  People flirting at a club  Ordering dinner at a restaurant  Performance studies: a paradigm for studying human activity  Purpose of Performance: o Objectives: what both the actors and audiences expect, the reasons performances occur o Organization: how the actors, audiences, actions, arenas and internal arrangements of those elements are organized in relationship to one another o Consciousness: the degree to which actors and audiences are conscious of each other and their objectives  Sports: expect cheering and yelling  Theater: laughter, tears, applause  Differences in medians: o Live Theater:  Theater is a performance that places human experience before a group of people—an audience— in the present moment  Non-profit  Can not completely control audience’s view of stage  Flexible  Audience-specific time  Ephemeral (doesn’t last) o Film, TV, media  Camera is an integral part of storytelling  For profit  Complete control of audience view  Hard to fool the camera  Audience gathers in multiple places at multiple times o Rituals and Ceremonies  Rituals: symbolic actions to fulfill spiritual and cultural needs of a community  Pattern is predictable- it becomes precise in repetition. A sense of comfort is present  Ritual is designed to produce a desired (magical) effect o Theater vs. Ritual  Theater:  Actors, Costumes, Action, Audience, Arena  Ritual:  Actors, Costumes, Action, Audience, Arena, Cultural work, and Bonding o Out of the ritual, a story forms and transforms into theater  Abydos- Ancient Egyptian ritual  Use of masks: transform people, metaphors, emotional truths; o What makes theater unique?  Illusion: were going to believe this is happening  Immediacy: happening right now in real time  Aliveness: complex and subject to change; mess up lines, etc  Doubleness: recognition and parallels Elements of Drama Exposition: background of time, place, plot, character, and social context for understanding the play Point of attack/inciting incident/crisis: marks the moment in which the play’s conflict begins Rising Action/Complication: depicts the Climax: usually occurs late in the play and marks the protagonists triumph or defeat January 15 th Drama  Conflict is essential. Without conflict there is no drama  Compressed form of literary expression  Playwright: a craft person  To create theater you need 4 things: o An idea o An actor o An audience o A space  Elements: o Plot o Characters o Language o Theme (thought) o Music (song composition) o Spectacle (visual adornment)  Elements that imitate: verbal expression and song composition  Manner in which they imitate: visual adornment  Things they imitate: plot, characters, and thoughts Alternatives to Plot Structure:  Episodic play: incidents are ordered into episodes by the exploration of a theme  Sanskrit: goal is not ot reach a climax but to induce the appropriate (rasa) tone, mood, or flavor. Like episodic plays, these plays tend to explore a condition  Postmodern plays (cyclic): abandon a linear narrative altogether for a hodgepodge or juxtaposition of seemingly disparate things, such as different historical periods and fragmented language Character/Characterization:  Physical or Biological  Social: role in society;  Psychological: workings of the mind; desires and goals;  Moral/ethical (mostly implicit): decisions and values;  Information is conveyed in 4 ways: o Description (stage directions) o What character says o What others say about character o Actions of character  Look for moment of change o Recognition o Reversal  Stock character: recognizable behavior; stereotypical role o Wise old man; witty assistant  Archetypal characters: original mold; relate to all people of all times; reside in our collective unconscious o Mother, father, prophet Theme/Thought  Examples: o Title of the Play o Dialogue: refers to language and words of play- monologues, soliloquies, narration, and coral odes—and the arrangement. Conveys character, plot, and theme. o Characters o Monologues o Imagery o Climax Music and Spectacle  Spectacle: refers to the visual elements called for in the play o Scenery, costumes, and lighting  Music: refers to the sound, rhythm, and melody of the language o Trifles: women are soft and quiet while the men are loud and booming; Genres  Tragedy (Aristotle): the process of imitating an actions, which has serious implications, is complete and possesses magnitude o Two Types  Complex: when a reversal and recognition occurs  Oedipus  Simple: either a reversal or a recognition but not both  Medea: changes but gets away with the crime o Characteristics:  Noble Birth  Fatal Flaw  Comedy: o Characteristics:  Inferior persons  Human weakness  Tragicomedy: o Bleaker world view o Characters trapped by their existence Style: presentational/representational  Determined by cultural philosophy, aesthetics and theater space  Convention: theater’s rules of the game which determine the actor/audience relationship Trifles Exposition:  Rural town by a farmhouse  Someone is dead Point of attack/Inciting incident/Crisis  Conflict between the men and the women  Hale is explaining his right; asking to see the husband Rising action/complication  Interrogation with attorney  Conversation between the two women o Find out about Minnie o Introduce symbol of fruit: frozen and broken  Her life Climax  Discover the realization that she killed him because of the bird o The women decide to stand with her Falling Action:  Women ask questions? January 20 Theater Types:  Proscenium Theatre or Box Theater o Stage and Apron (in front of the curtain) o Not present in Greek Theater o SEE SLIDES FOR LABELING AND VOCAB  Thrust  Arena: Theater in the round o 360 degrees  Flexible/Black Box Playwrights:  Do an investigation to understand the background of the play and influences on the playwright Professional Groups  Dramatists Guild  ASCAP Director  Creation  Collaboration  Problem Solving  Responsibilities: o Working with the text o Working with designers o Working with the actors o Coordinating all elements  Casting o Auditions, call backs o Table work o Rehearsal o Blocking o Stage business o Off book o Pacing/tempo o Tech rehearsal  Concept o Analyze the text o Work with dramaturge o Honed with feedback from the designers who play with ideas and images. These ideas and images take shape through consultation o Production meetings: means of checking in on progress o Technical rehearsals: when all design elements are integrated into the show, final step in the rehearsal process  Types of Directors: o Auteur: text is a jumping off point. Not followed at all o Interculturalism: merging eastern and western influences o Combined as choreographer or designer Light and Sound: o Intensity, Color, Movement, Distribution Vocab  Blocking: directions from the director around the stage  Voms: entrances that are on the ground floor level  Boarders/Teasers:  Concept: a short, distilled statement that communicates the director’s overall vision. The statement may be an image, an action, a philosophical statement, or a metaphor


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